Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Book: Of Sorcery and Snow (The Ever Afters) by Shelby Bach

Of Sorcery and Snow (The Ever Afters) by Shelby Bach was released last month. It's the third in a series, following Of Giants and Ice (The Ever Afters) in 2012 and Of Witches and Wind (The Ever Afters) in 2013. A fourth book will be released next summer, The Ever Afters #4 (Ever Afters).

Do you know what amuses me most about this series? I haven't read it but I like the twist that there are two girls and a boy on these adventures. All too often it's one girl only if there is a mixed gender group of three or more. I bet this series passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors.

Book description Of Sorcery and Snow (The Ever Afters):

Rory might be ready to star in her own fairy tale, but there’s more danger than happily-ever-after in this third book in a series that Kirkus Reviews calls a “fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy.”

Life at Ever After School has become familiar for Rory. She’s been on two quests, she’s a great sword fighter, and she has terrific friends. But familiar is no fairy tale, and she’s still anxiously awaiting the chance to star in her own.

But as her connection to the Snow Queen continues to grow, Rory realizes her starring role might be well underway. When the Snow Queen sends the Pied Piper to kidnap several children, including the sibling of a fellow EAS-er, the teachers think this mission is too dangerous and won’t send any kids. But Rory, Chase, and Lena are determined to help, and it’s not long before they find themselves in more trouble than they can handle. Because it wouldn’t be Ever After School if things worked out according to plan…

Bargain Ebook: Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale has dropped from $9.99 to $2.99 in ebook format. I haven't really been paying attention to this series. Is anyone here enjoying it?

Book description:

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens...whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen's destiny is to follow in her mother's wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven's style. She's starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn't sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Book: How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales: and Other Stories by Kate Bernheimer

How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales: and Other Stories by Kate Bernheimer is officially released in August, but it is already shipping from booksellers and available in eformat, too. Some of the stories have been previously published. There is a great review at Heavy Feather.

One might call Bernheimer a bit of a fairy tale activist. In her essay “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale,”featured in The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays From Tin House, she notes their “critical underappreciation”—both with respect to the role they play in our literary tradition and the insights they might offer contemporary fiction writers—owing in part to their long standing affiliation with women and children. But to ignore fairy tales, according to Bernheimer, is to ignore an artistic treasure trove. “Fairy tales are the skeletons of story,” she writes. “Reading them often provides and uneasy sensation—a gnawing familiarity—that comforting yet supernatural awareness of living inside a story.” Their governing form, which usually emphasizes elements of abstraction, flat characters, and intuitive logic, flies in the face of Conventional Fiction Workshop Wisdom. And yet, by forgoing the usual character-driven, show-don’t-tell modus operandi, fairy tales can tap into narratives that feel both familiar and wildly innovative. That dissonance is partly what makes How A Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales so seductive. As readers, one of the reasons we’re able to inhabit Bernheimer’s stories is because, as fairy tales, they’re not already crowded by other souls. Or perhaps, as Bernheimer suggests in her essay, because the fairy tale tradition is already embedded inside us.

Kate also recently had a piece published on NPR, Surviving An Adult World In Fairy Tales, And Real Life:

These aren't escapist fantasies; they're stories of kids facing unimaginable terror.

As Tatar writes, in fairy tales children must find radical ways to "survive a world ruled by adults." This is our grim reality. And it's the grim reality of these children at the border as well. Of course, not all endings are unhappy. Remember Hansel and Gretel? They manage to shove that witch in the oven, and they emerge from the forest ... alive.

But back to Kate's book, which I haven't acquired yet, but wanted to announce here since I saw it was shipping.

Book description:

Elegant and brutal, the stories in Kate Bernheimer's latest collection occupy a heightened landscape, where the familiar cedes to the grotesque and nonsense just as often devolves into terror. These are fairy tales out of time, renewing classic stories we think we know, like one of Bernheimer's girls, whose hands of steel turn to flowers, leaving her beautiful but alone.

Kate Bernheimer is the author of the short story collection Horse, Flower, Bird and the editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the journal Fairy Tale Review.

Table of Contents:

The Old Dinosaur

Pink Horse Tale

Tale of Disappearance

The Librarian's Ta1e

Professor Helen C. Andersen

Oh Jolly Playmate!

How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales

Babes in the Woods

The Girl with the Talking Shadow

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Bargain Ebook: The Stolen: An American Faerie Tale by Bishop O'Connell

The Stolen: An American Faerie Tale by Bishop O'Connell is a NEW book and bargain priced in ebook format. The paperback published by HarperCollins will be released in August at the standard $6.99 list price but the ebook is available now for $2.99. I imagine that price will go up after a quota of sales is met. O'Connell is a new author and this is the first book in a two part series, so the publisher is trying to build an audience with a sale price.

That cover is pretty, isn't it? Catches the eye. And a new "kidnapped by fairies" story is always welcome! It's not a changeling story per se--there doesn't appear to be an exchange, but kidnapping is just as intriguing.

Book description:

Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?


Bishop O'Connell is a consultant, writer, poet, blogger, and member of the New Hampshire Writer's Project. Born in Naples Italy while his father was stationed in Sardinia, Bishop grew up in San Diego, CA where he fell in love with the ocean and fish tacos. While wandering the country for work and school, he experienced autumn in New England. Soon after, he settled in Manchester, NH, where he collects swords and kilts. But he only dons one of those two in public. His urban fantasy book, The Stolen, and its sequel, The Forgotten are being published by Harper Voyager. He can also be found online at A Quiet Pint, where he muses philosophical on the various aspects of writing and the road to getting published.

New Book: Fae edited by Rhonda Parrish

Fae edited by Rhonda Parrish is officially released today. I just received a review copy late yesterday and haven't had a chance to read any of it. But we have a guest post scheduled for the book in a few weeks, so stay tuned.

Book description:

Meet Robin Goodfellow as you've never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales.

Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies to modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis.

Fae bridges traditional and modern styles, from the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale to urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist. This anthology covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman
Rosie Red Jacket by Christine Morgan
The Queen of Lakes by L.S. Johnson
Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies by Sara Puls
Antlers by Amanda Block
Only Make-Believe by Lauren Liebowitz
F.C.U. by Jon Arthur Kitson
Water Sense by Adria Laycraft
The Cartography of Shattered Trees by Beth Cato
Possession by Rhonda Eikamp
And Only The Eyes of Children by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Seven Years Fleeting by Lor Graham
The Last King by Liz Colter
Faerie Knight by Sidney Blaylock, Jr.
Solomon’s Friend by Kristina Wojtaszek
A Fairfolk Promise by Alexis A. Hunter
The Fairy Midwife by Shannon Phillips
The Price by Kari Castor

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bargain Ebook: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer is currently $3.99, dropped from its usual $6.99. This is the lowest price the ebook has reached--I previously posted about it when it was $4.99. It's the second book in the series.

Book description:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
An NPR Best Book of 2013

Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles is $2.99 in ebook and is often at this price.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles), the third book is $8.89 and has never been bargain discounted to my knowledge.

And for fans of the series, the cover of the fourth book, due out in early 2015, is up on most book sites now.

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story has a preorder ebook price of $9.99 and will be released January 27, 2015. That's a rather eerie cover and not my favorite. I still love the Cinder cover for so perfectly conveying the science fiction element of the novel. But fans of this series don't care if the book comes in a plain white cover as long as it just comes out!

Book description:

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Little Red Cap Illustrated by Květa Pacovská

Little Red Cap (Mini-Edition) was released last year in the UK, but hasn't been released in the US, but must be purchased through third party sellers on sites like Amazon.

Illustrated by Květa Pacovská, I imagine this one will inspire either strong love or hate. It's not a book to promote apathy. Especially when considered as a picture book for children. Would you give this one to your favorite child? I know to many readers, it will look like it WAS illustrated by a child. Thoughts?

Book description:

Little Red Cap (also known as Little Red Riding Hood) is the most popular of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, loved the world over. No other story has been told as many different ways, or illustrated as often, as this tale about “a sweet little girl, beloved by everyone who laid eyes on her, but most of all by her grandmother.”

The Czech artist Květa Pacovská renowned for her unique illustration style, tackles this classic tale with her usual creative flair. As the book progresses, she builds up almost musical motifs of theme and variation as the two great characters—the fearsome wolf and the innocent Little Red Cap—make their famous meeting. With stunning originality, Ms. Pacovská invites us to see this well known tale in a totally new way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Snow White, Written by the Brothers Grimm and Illustrated by Momo Takano

Snow White. Written by the Brothers Grimm and Illustrated by Momo Takano was released a few years ago in 2011 in the UK (here's the UK link: Snow White) and in other languages in Europe. It still hasn't made it stateside, but that never stops me from sharing pictures, does it?

The cool palette for this book is quite unusual for the reddish Snow White. The emphasis here is on the "snow" element of her beauty and world. She wears red through most of the book, but her world is blue and green tones overall.

Book description:

• Well-loved fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm retold and beautifully illustrated

• Classic story of the battle between good and evil

• The ideal gift-book providing an enchanting new perspective on a familiar story

The classic Brothers Grimm tale of the beautiful Snow White and her envious and wicked stepmother. Beautifully illustrated by the celebrated artist Momo Takano, this edition provides an enchanting perspective on the familiar story and makes an ideal gift.